Hawkeye coaches, gymnasts revel in their newly renovated facility
Hawkeye coaches, gymnasts revel in their newly renovated facility
Iowa competes in Auburn Regional today at 6 p.m. (CT)
GymHawks finished fifth (194.475) at the NCAA Regional Championships
The meet is set to begin at 6 p.m. (CT) inside the Auburn Arena
The GymHawks defeated UIC today 195.125 to 193.800 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Iowa at No. 6 Georgia Stegeman Coliseum Athens, Ga. Jan. 20, 2014 Photos by Jack Lewis
Photos from Session I of the 2012 Big Ten Women's Gymnastics Championships
Iowa 194.150, Iowa State 192.700 Friday, Feb. 17, 2012
Larissa Libby enters her 12th year as head coach, and 16th year overall, at the University of Iowa in 2015-16.
In 2015, the GymHawks were selected for NCAA Regional competition, marking the program's seventh postseason berth in the last eight years. Five GymHawks placed in the top 15 for individual events, leading Iowa to a fifth place regional finish and a score of 194.475. Libby coached the GymHawks to a season high score of 196.500 at the Big Ten Championships -- the team's best championship team result since 2010. Iowa's performance also marked the highest team score for the program at the Big Ten Championships since March 20, 2004. Under Libby, Iowa was ranked in the top 25 for six consecutive weeks during the 2015 season. The GymHawks ended the season ranked No. 23 nationally, marking the program's first Top 25 ranking since 2012. Libby led sophomores Mollie Drenth and Angel Metcalf, junior Alie Glover, and senior Sydney Hoerr, to earn spots on the All-Championship Team. Libby is also responsible for the only other gymnast named to the All-Championship Team (Emma Stevenson, 2012) in program history.
Libby coached Iowa to a close victory over its in-state rival 195.775- 195.175 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena at the team's home finale and Senior Night. The win marked the first time the Hawkeyes have topped the Cyclones since March 8, 2013. Overall, the GymHawks collected eight conference wins this season against Minnesota (twice), Maryland (twice), Rutgers (twice), Michigan State, and Ohio State. Last season, the GymHawks collected a single conference win against Michigan State at the Big Ten Championships on March 22, 2014. In addition to the team’s accomplishments, Libby coached senior Sydney Hoerr to Second Team All-Big Ten for the second year in a row, helped sophomore Mollie Drenth earn Big Ten Event Specialist of the Week -- making Drenth the first to earn a weekly conference honor since Feb. 11, 2013, and led seniors Sydney Hoerr and Caitlin Tanzer, junior Opua Calucag, and sophomore Caroline McCrady to Academic All-Big Ten honors.
In 2014, six Hawkeyes were selected for NCAA Regional competition. Sophomore Alie Glover, freshman Angel Metcalf, and junior Sydney Hoerr were selected as all-around competitors, while freshman Jordyn Doherty was chosen to compete on vault and freshman Mollie Drenth competed on floor. Sophomore Maryah Huntley was selected as the alternate behind Drenth on floor. Libby coached junior Sydney Hoerr to second team All-Big Ten honors, while Hoerr, junior Caitlin Tanzer and sophomore Alie Glover earned Academic All-Big Ten honors.
Libby led Iowa to its sixth-consecutive NCAA postseason appearance, the seventh in her tenure, during her ninth year as head coach in 2013. The Hawkeyes finished sixth in the Norman Regional, posting 194.475. In the regular season, Iowa clinched the Cy-Hawk Series, defeating Iowa State with a season-best, 196.375-194.575. Iowa was the only Big Ten team to down Minnesota, the regular season Big Ten Co-Champions. The Hawkeyes beat the Gophers, 195.725-195.550.
Under Libby's guidance, Iowa finished its 2013 homestand undefeated. The Hawkeyes recorded their highest-ever average home attendance (1,414), drawing a season-high 2,303 fans against Iowa State. Iowa found success off the floor as well, as four GymHawks, Sydney Hoerr, Emma Stevenson, Kaitlynn Urano and Emma Willis, received Academic All-Big Ten honors.
In 2012, the Hawkeyes finished the season ranked 26th nationally, the highest finish since 2004. Libby coached Tesla Cox to second team All-Big Ten honors and Emma Stevenson to the Big Ten All-Championship Team. The Hawkeyes hosted the Big Ten Championships drawing a season-high attendance figure of 1,661. Stevenson scored a 9.875 on the floor exercise, and Iowa finished seventh as a team. Libby led the Hawkeyes to a fifth-consecutive NCAA postseason appearance. Iowa posted 194.600 and finished fifth at the Seattle Regional.
The Hawkeyes raised the streak to four-straight NCAA appearances in 2011 with a fifth place finish at the Corvallis Regional. This coming after a sixth place finish at the Big Ten Championships, and an overall season record of 11-6. Libby coached three All-Big Ten selections in Rebecca Simbhudas, Houry Gebeshian and Jessa Hansen. Simbhudas and Gebeshian also made individual appearances at the NCAA Championships as Simbhudas was named North Central Region Gymnast of the Year.
Libby led Iowa to a third place finish at the 2010 Big Ten Championships, its best finish in six years. On top of another NCAA Regional berth, Libby also coached Houry Gebeshian to a Big Ten title on beam, just the second in program history. Gebeshian, Jessa Hansen and Rebecca Simbhudas were selected to the All-Big Ten team. Additionally, Simbhudas qualified as an individual for the NCAA Championships and earned All-American honors on beam.
In 2009, Libby led her squad to a 10-5 record and was named North Central Region Coach of the Year. Under her guidance, the GymHawks made their second-consecutive NCAA Regional appearance and produced two first team All-Big Ten gymnasts in Jenifer Simbhudas and Houry Gebeshian. Additionally, Simbhudas was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Week twice in 2009.
In 2008, Libby coached the Hawkeyes to their first NCAA appearance since 2005 and a fifth place finish in the Big Ten Conference. In addition to the multiple team and staff honors, Libby also saw several GymHawks achieve standout seasons during the 2008 season. Jenifer Simbhudas was named first team All-Big Ten and Big Ten Gymnast of the Week twice. The accomplishments came off of the competitive floor as well. Five GymHawks were named Academic All-Big Ten and seven were named academic All-Americans.
In 2007, Libby led the Hawkeyes to a number of individual records. Katie Burke earned career-highs on vault, bars, floor, and in the all-around, ending a highly successful season with an NCAA Championship appearance. Kara Pinjuv, Jenifer Simbhudas, and Katie Turcotte all qualified to NCAA Regional competition. In addition to their NCAA success, Burke earned first team All-Big Ten honors, while Pinjuv, Turcotte, and Simbhudas all earned second team honors.
Prior to the 2007 season, Libby played a role in the Hawkeyes' six consecutive seasons of NCAA Regional competition (2000-2005) and coached seniors Liz Grajewski and Kortny Williamson, as well as junior Danielle Legeai to individual regional competition in 2006.
As the Hawkeyes' choreographer and beam coach, Libby has made a lasting impact. The top 10 school records on beam have all been under her guidance, including the school record, 49.425, accomplished in 2004 at Illinois State. In 2004, the GymHawks recorded a 49.0 or higher seven times on beam. Before becoming the UI head coach, Libby served as associate head coach for one season and assistant coach for the previous three seasons.
Before joining the Hawkeyes, Libby served four years as the assistant women's coach at Louisiana State University, her alma mater. While at LSU, she produced nine beam All-Americans, the top-ranked beam team in 1999 and helped coach LSU to four consecutive NCAA championship team appearances.
As a competitive gymnast in her home country of Canada, Libby burst onto the scene at age 11, quickly becoming a junior national champion and a senior national champion shortly after. A member of the 1987 and 1989 Canadian world championship teams, Libby led the Canadian team to its best-ever sixth-place finish, placing 18th in the world in the all-around and becoming Canada's first ever world vault finalist. Along with world recognition, Libby was also a member of the Canadian Olympic team in 1988. She has earned over 30 international individual and event medals and was honored as the Canadian Gymnast of the Year in 1989 and 1990. In 2006, Libby was honored for her many national and international accomplishments. The Whitby Sports Council, the hometown where Libby began her outstanding career, selected Libby to be inducted into the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed on some of Canada's greatest athletes.
Originally from Pickering, Canada, Libby was a collegiate gymnast at Louisiana State University. She was a four-year team captain and the Central Region bar champion in 1995. Libby graduated from LSU in 1996, with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and a minor in French. Her husband, Chad, is the program director of athletic training at Coe College. The couple has two daughters, Taylor and Bailey.